Surgery and Levis

I’m down more than 90lbs and just bought size 38 Levis. I
feel no compulsion to scratch out the size on the leather hip patch
like I used to do on my old 54s. Bouncing back fast from last
week’s surgery.

Of hospitals and marathons

I had another surgery the other day, to fix the damage made during my last procedure. It wasn’t unexpected. I’ve actually been building toward this for a while, and it wasn’t as bad as I had built it up to be. But I’m still stuck in the hospital, almost a week later. Crap.

The trouble now is they can’t get the pain under control. Either I get too little relief from the pain meds, or way too much. Agony or ecstasy. Take your pick. I just miss my family and want to go home.

Still, I’m in a much better place than before. The new hospital is good and the docs and nurses terrific. I was thinner and healthier going into the surgery, so I’m feeling stronger now. I’m letting the anger go from all the prior problems. Hopefully, I’ll get this all behind me soon, and start writing about the marathon I want to train for. Yeah, a marathon. Or maybe just a run around the neighborhood with Erica. I’d consider either one a huge accomplishment.

Storm clouds are brewing…

I’m doing better. I’m exercising most days, feeling stronger, eating right and still losing weight – although not as fast as before. Mostly, I’m feeling good. I’m down more than 80 pounds.

Sounds great, I know, and I’d be a happy guy if it weren’t for the abdominal pain and a surgical wound that’s still open and draining. (Gross. Sorry.) Storm clouds are brewing; I might need another operation. Ugh.

It turns out I probably have a significant surgical complication that my original surgeon, and a bunch of radiologists, completely missed. It’s a surgical error, a small tear in my abdomen called a fistula that has kept me from fully healing for months. It’s obvious on the scans, even to a non-doctor like myself. Fluid is leaking where it’s not supposed to.

The fistula is the latest in a string of complications going back to my original surgery on May 10. I’m ready to get past all this crap and move on with my new, thinner life. But I’m in limbo. I can’t look for a job, because I’m not really able to work. I’m still taking pain pills, which I hate.

It’s not clear yet how serious the fistula really is. It may actually have healed a bit on its own, or it may still be leaking. I’ll need further testing for that.

Honestly, I’m not angry about the error itself. Mistakes and complications happen, and there’s really no one to blame. That’s the risk in surgery. It’s frustrating that the error was missed, for months, not only by the surgeon, but by multiple radiologists reviewing dozens CAT scans, MRIs and other tests. They’ve cost me more time.

Frankly, the doctors were as disturbed as me by complication after complication. But instead of harnessing all of their strength and powers to cure me, they stepped away. They moved on to other, less complicated patients, whose problems they could fix quickly, and with less effort. They were tired of dealing with me

I’ve moved on too. I’ve got a new surgeon at a new hospital, and I’ve asked my amazing primary care physician to take a more active role in coordinating my care. I’m hopeful that the worst is behind me.

Honestly, it’s hard to complain. I’m not dead, and I very well could have been. I fought my way back from complication after complication. I’ve lost a lot of weight. Now I just want to get on with my life.